Inga's Indulgence

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hemp - the unsung supercrop

Contrary to what many may think, hemp is not marijuana. The list of functions which industrial hemp can serve goes on and on, but what intrigues me most about this super crop is its unique flavor and versatility as an ingredient.

Recently I've been working on some recipe development and testing for I was amazed to learn how many different culinary forms hemp takes on. Hemp seeds, hemp flour, hempseed oil, and hemp protein powder are among the many hemp products currently on the market.

Its delicious nutty flavor makes hemp an awesome ingredient to work with. But beyond flavor, hemp's nutritional value is something truly noteworthy. An incredible source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, this super food is great for pregnant or nursing women, let alone anyone.

The other day, I cooked up a storm of hemp-based recipes for a photo/video shoot. They will all eventually be up on, but here's a little taste:

Penne with Spinach & Hempseed Pesto
yield: 5-6 servings

4 cups baby spinach
2 cloves garlic
1 cup hulled hemp seeds
1 cup grated parmigiano regianno, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup hempseed oil
salt & pepper, to taste
1 lb Penne
1 cup heavy cream

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a food processor, until a smooth puree forms. With the machine still running, slowly drizzle in the hempseed oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. Cook penne  to al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water.

3. Place prepared pesto into a pan that is large enough to fit all of the pasta. Place pan over medium-low heat, and stir in the heavy cream and reserved cooking water. Once the sauce is completely smooth, add the pasta and mix gently to coat. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary. Sprinkle with more parmigiano reggiano.


  1. Cool. I shall give your recipe a try.

  2. this is awesome, great stuff.